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In brief: National Roads Authority and Planning Minister discuss state of PNG roads + other business stories – www.businessadvantagepng.com

National Roads Authority and Planning Minister discuss state of PNG roads, National Airports Corporation releases commercial tenders at POM, and Cue Energy puts PNG assets on market. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

The CEO of National Roads Authority Ponege Poya says the NRA is unable to undertake any significant improvement work for national highways due to lack of maintenance funding from the government despite budget submissions and requests.

Meanwhile, National Planning Minister Charles Abel believes new ideas and designs must be created to address the ongoing deteriorating conditions of road networks throughout PNG. He says bitumen roads cannot survive because of the weather.

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The National Airports Corporation has released five commercial tenders for space at Port Morseby Airport. As foreshadowed in May, the tenders cover 16 retail spaces, and duty-free and retail complexes in the Arrival and Departures areas.

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Australian-based Cue Energy Ltd is looking to offload its portfolio of assets in Papua New Guinea. According to the company’s June quarterly report, it is seeking offers for its PNG assets, which include interests in the PDL 3 Gobe field, PRL 14 and PRL 9.

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The Governor of the National Capital District, Powes Parkop, has signed a deal with a company that will see betel nut sold in packaged form. Askopina Ltd will purchase betel nuts from producers in Central and Gulf provinces and then sell to licensed vendors within the city to trade.

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The world’s largest conservation organisation, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, has described Papua New Guinea’s strategy for sustainable development as ‘visionary’. Planning Minister Charles Abel launched the strategy, which covers economic and development efforts, including mining and logging.

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PNG will stage an investment seminar and trade fair in Singapore in October. Trade Minister Richard Maru says manufacturers will be invited to showcase coffee, green beans, roasted coffee, cocoa, and coconut oil.

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PNG Power Ltd, the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and landowners have signed an agreement to build thea K49 million (US$20 million) Ramazon Hydro Power Project. It’s expected the project will be complete by the end of 2015.

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The Managing Director of the Mineral Resources Authority, Philip Samar, says reviews of four mining projects have now been carried out – Ok Tedi, Simberi, Sinivit and Tolukuma. He says the agreements for Porgera and Hidden Valley are 90 per cent completed.

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Agriculture Minister Tommy Tomscoll says foreign-owned coffee exporting and processing firms must own at least ten hectares of coffee plantation to continue operating. He’s also called on shareholders of coffee plantations in Jiwaka to resolve ownership issues and make their plantations operational.

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The Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Deborah Stokes says ten Manus Island companies are providing goods and services to the Regional Processing Centre, worth about K400,000 per week.

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Newcrest Mining bonds are delivering the best returns among metal producers this year, some 23 per cent, even as the gold miner prepares for new write downs of as much as $2.5 billion, mainly on its Lihir mine. But new chief executive, Sandeep Biswas, says cash flow will stay positive after production costs fell 8 per cent in the three months to June 30 and gold rose 3.4 per cent.

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A US company is hoping to help Pacific Islands combat illegal fishing with a wave-riding robot which can sense boats offshore. Todd Kleperis of Liquid Robotics International says the wave and solar powered skimmer is a much cheaper option that aerial surveillance.

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Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has denied there is a crisis in the Australian economy, saying ‘it is not in trouble’. He’s told NZ television their second biggest trading partner is benefiting from 23 years of consecutive economic growth.

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Each shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the PNG LNG project is costing US$50million (K119.1 million) to US$60 million, according to National Petroleum Company PNG Managing Director Wapu Sonk. Since its maiden shipment earlier this year, ExxonMobil has exported 12 LNG cargoes to customers in Asia.

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Papua New Guinea Education Minister Nick Kuman has launched the equiTV program in Manus Province. The concept has already been on trial in East Sepik, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and Central provinces, and aims to enhance the quality of teaching and learning through television.

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And finally … congratulations to weightlifter Steven Kari for winning gold for Papua New Guinea in the men’s 94kg weightlifting event at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Dika Toua also won the silver medal for PNG in the 53kg weightlifting. At the time of print, it looked as though Toua’s silver medal would be upgraded to gold after the original winner tested positive for doping.

This article was kindly provided by www.businessadvantagepng.com

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